Chairmen and members of the recently superseded Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Manipur on Friday joined the chorus demanding the conduct of the due ADC elections.
At a time when All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM is pressing the government to conduct the due elections of the ADCs, Manipur government, by an order issued on November 30, superseded the six ADCs and handed over the administration of the ADCs to respective deputy commissioners.
Addressing a press conference in Imphal on Friday, chairmen and members of the superseded ADCs urged the state government to take up steps to hold the due elections at the earliest. The members pointed out that, currently, the state government is preparing for conduct of the elections to the Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) in January 2021. “However, no steps to conduct the elections to the ADCs are seen taken up on the part of the state government”, they alleged.
Coordinator of Chairmen Forum ADC Manipur, Dr Yaranso Ngalhung said that even though the extended term of the ADCs expired on November 30 last, the state government did not take steps to hold the elections. “It is sheer negligence to the ADCs by the government,” he said and alleged that even as there is a provision in the Constitution allowing extension of the term of the ADCs, the state government failed to do so.
According to him, during the Congress time, the ADC chairmen were allowed to act as caretakers if the elections were unable to conduct timely even after the term expired. “However, the BJP-led government, instead of doing this, superseded the ADCs and handed the administration of the ADCs to the deputy commissioners of the respective districts by an order of the state government.
To mention here, in the order superseding the ADCs, deputy commissioners of each district were handed over the charge to exercise all powers and duties conferred and imposed upon the councils under Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971 or any other law for the time being enforced.
“It is the clear sign of the incumbent BJP-led coalition government’s sheer negligence of the elected members of the ADCs. We strongly oppose the order as the ADCs,” Dr Yaranso said. At the same time, he also said that chairmen and members of the ADCs have no objection to the superseding of the ADCs but they are against the government taking up no steps to hold the due elections.
“We have no problem when the government did not extend the term of the ADC. But, the government should announce the election schedules without any further delay,” he said.
He then suggested that it will be a wise step on the part of the state government to allow functioning ADCs with the chairmen and members as caretakers while taking up steps to conduct the elections.
Mention may be made here that ATSUM had recently threatened to launch agitations including calling of inter-state bandh and a complete ban on the implementation of national projects in the hill districts if the state government fails to take up steps to hold the ADC elections at the earliest.